SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — In the age of multiplex theaters and movie downloads, they have become an incredibly rare sight. Gretchen in San Francisco asked this Good Question: What happened to the Bay Area’s single-screen movie theaters?
ANSWER: Single screen movie theaters were all the rage up until the early 1980s when theater owners found it much more profitable to build multiplex buildings which could show several feature films simultaneously.
Don Nasser owns the Castro Theater, one of the last remaining single screen theaters in San Francisco. He said the multiplex system protects theater owners from losing a lot of money on a first run film that might not do so well. Film companies charge theater owners a percentage of each ticket sold. If a film is a dud, it can be moved to a smaller theater and more successful films to the bigger rooms. Owners of single screen theaters don’t have that advantage.
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